Friday, 5 April 2019

My AOI Book Review for Where's the Dude?

Little White Lies – Where’s the Dude? The Great Movie Spotting Challenge: Unofficial and Unauthorized

Written by Adam Woodward

Illustrated by Sharm Murugiah

ISBN: 978-1-78067-264-5

Published by Laurence King 

Reviewed by Karl Andy Foster

Illustrator Sharm Murugiah website


“Sometimes there's a man, who, well, he's the man for his time 'n place. He fits right in there. And that’s the Dude, in Los Angeles. And even if he’s a lazy man – and the Dude was most certainly that.”
The Stranger, The Big Lebowski

The Dude is a single, unemployed man whose hobbies include smoking pot, drinking White Russians and bowling. Politically he is a spent force. He is not expected to be invited to Four Weddings and a Funeral. However, he has become iconic and this will draw readers in no doubt.

Each spread of this large format book displays an environment from a well-known Hollywood movie and much more. Looking for The Dude is a challenge and he is hidden very well in some spreads, it took me forever to find him in the Willy Wonka factory scene. The Apocalypse Now spread is reminiscent of the Sgt. Pepper’s Beatles album cover albeit filled will horror!

Image-maker Sharm Murugiah has big shoes to fill, those of Martin Handford who created Where’s Wally/ Waldo? He does this with spectacular aplomb! He has produced a work of meticulous detail and obsessive coverage. Bruegelesque in its nature but executed quickly containing a febrile energy.
This type of work is known as Wimmelbilderbuch, or “wimmelbook” for short a term used to describe a book with drawings of busy place’s like a town square or sports event. These were mostly geared toward children as in the case of Where’s Wally/ Waldo? However, this book will also entertain adults.

The Titanicspread displays references to James Cameron’s other famous movies as well as images from the careers of the actors (Billy Zane dressed as The Phantom) and a tussle between Celine Dion and Enya for the title song! Aliens and Avatars add to the surrealist quality of the illusion.

The complexity of movie making is augmented by the research of author Adam Woodward and includes references to cut scenes, failed casting decisions and unsinkable Pomeranians. At the back of the book is an effective reference section to help you navigate the multiple strands, stories and symbolism. 

With an inexhaustible number of movies, the potential for a series of books in this mold is endless. I would like to see how Star WarsCasablancaBlack Narcissusand Don’t Look Nowwould be handled. Watch out Martin Handford, the Dude abides.

25 March 2019

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